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The good news for the day March 2, 2017

Tuesday of the Fourth Week in Lent (245)

One Holyday of the Jews, Jesus was in Jerusalem. At its Sheep Gate, there exists a pool (called Bethesda in their language); it has five entrances. In these lay very many ill, blind, lame, and crippled persons. One man lay there who had been in poor health for 38 years. When Jesus saw him lying there–knowing that He had been ill for a long time—He said to him, “Do you really want to get well?” The sick man answered, “Sir, I have nobody to put me into the pool when the water is stirred up. When I am on my way there, someone else gets there first.” Jesus said to him, “Get up! Pick up your mat, and walk.” Right away, the man got well, picked up his mat, and walked. This happened to be a Day of Prayer. Some Jews said to the man now cured, “It is the Day of Prayer; it is illegal for you to be carrying your mat.” He answered, “The man who made me well told me, ‘Pick up your mat and walk.'” They asked, “Who told you, ‘Pick it up and walk’?” The man who had been healed did not know who it was—Jesus had slipped away, since a crowd was there. After this Jesus found him in the area of prayer and said to him, “OK, you are well; do not sin anymore, so that nothing worse may happen to you.” The man went and told the Jews that Jesus was the person who had made him well. As a result— because he did this on a Day of Prayer, these Jews began to hound Jesus. (John 5)

In this story, we see hostility by Pharisaical Jews. Because of their ideology, they miss the miracle. They see nonconformity and disobedience—by the man and Jesus—to their control. It is their strict interpretation—their ideology—that blinds them to the transformation that has happened.

You and I have something of the same instinctive reaction to nonconformists. Our mind reacts against what we see as a strange hair color or style, a mismatched married couple, a man choosing to be homeless, a creative artist or hear a thick accent on the phone—but each of these may be a miracle—a small, hard-working soul daring to transform him or herself with courage. We become blind–crippled–to how much culture—not love—shapes how we see others.

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